Leadmagnet vs Content Upgrade (and how to create yours)

Opt-ins, lead magnets, content upgrades, freebies…

You may be asking yourself “what are these terms and how can they help me grow my business?”

Opt-ins, lead magnets, content upgrades, and freebies are all an incentive for people to exchange their email address for bonus material. Growing your email list is important – you own these subscribers and can develop an intimate relationship with them, positioning yourself as an expert.

Still confused about how these terms can help your business grow?

Let’s break it down

Content Upgrades

When it comes to growing your mailing list, content upgrades are a great incentive for audiences to sign up!

Content upgrades provide your audience with a free bonus download that is directly related to the blog post they are reading. It’s an “upgrade” because it is adding value to the content they have just read.

Content upgrades can be simple and could look like:

  • Roadmaps
  • Checklists
  • Printables
  • Cheatsheets

Lead Magnets

A lead magnet, whilst similar to a content upgrade, is not directly related with a blog post. It can be a resource with its own separate landing page.

Generally speaking, a lead magnet is usually a freebie or offer that appeals to just about any visitor that visits your website.

Lead magnets are usually bigger value items offered as a free piece of digital, downloadable content, such that few would want to decline. In a nutshell, they are a powerful tool for hooking first-time visitors to your site and turning into a subscriber or lead.

Examples of lead magnets include:

  • Webinars
  • Checklists
  • Resource library
  • Templates
  • e-Books
  • or even access to the first module of your online course

A lead magnet encourages your audience to take that next step in forming a relationship with your business.

How to create yours

To allow your business to grow, you want to create opt-ins that are valuable to your dream customers AND your business.

The content should help your target audience achieve a goal or solve a problem within their business or life. It should also value your business; directly tie the content into a paid offer that you are offering (or planning to offer in the future) such as a paid course or membership. Providing your audience with a freebie “warms up” your target audience and helps position you as the expert.


Note: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking on my link I may make a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. These are tools that I use and LOVE.


Tools I use to create opt-ins that convert

Leadpages for landing pages

Leadpages is an online program that helps you to create beautiful landing pages in minutes. They provide a TON of templates that you can use for creating your pages, pop-ups and banners that promote your freebie and capture subscribers.

Bonus: it also has templates for webinars and sales pages! Leadpages is not the same thing as Mailchimp or Convertkit. It does not allow you to send regular emails to your list. I use LeadPages to grow my email list, and Convertkit to communicate with them.

Convertkit for email marketing

Convertkit the email marketing program I use, and one I recommend for all business owners and creative entrepreneurs looking to increase conversions and optimise their sales funnel.

Convertkit has tons of handy features to help you market to your list, and it allows you to effectively and professionally communicate with the audience (plus it connects seamlessly with LeadPages).

Creative Market for templates

If you’re a busy a.f. business owner or entrepreneur who doesn’t have the time to design your own opt-ins (or can justify the expense of hiring a designer) I highly recommend heading over to Creative Market and purchasing an inexpensive, easy-to-customize template for your next opt-in.

Here are 3 of my absolute favourites:

Canva for design

Canva is an excellent (and free!) online design tool, with thousands of customizable templates to help you design content for your brand. I love using this tool for designing opt-ins such as templates, checklists and roadmaps that my subscribers love.

Let me know: what is something that you can offer your audience as a lead magnet?